A new smartphone app aims to provide farmers and agronomists with live updates and forecasts on the slug pressure in their area, enabling more targeted control of the pest.
Slugs are one of the most costly pests for arable farmers and severe infestations can rapidly graze off newly establishing crops.
The key to managing the pest is knowing when to start monitoring and take action. This is where the app can help farmers.
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It offers growers the opportunity to view location-specific slug activity data, along with information on weather, helping them to make informed decisions on slug monitoring and applying slug pellets.
Geoffrey Bastard, technical specialist at Certis, says the launch of the app builds on the Slug Watch email updates that have been sent out for four years.
It adds real-time data and threshold numbers from the Association of Independent Crop Consultants, allowing year-on-year comparisons by region.
“Having this service available in an app format allows access to live slug pressure information at the touch of a button, while out on farm,” he says.
He explains that the app also allows the user to add their own trapping data, which helps to create a bespoke slug activity forecast for the area.
“By using this data, the app is more accurate and tailored to each situation, not only for the farmer, but for other farms in the area. Over time this will allow growers to monitor their slug numbers to spot trends or particular problem areas,” he says.
He says the added benefit of weather forecast data means more informed decisions on responsible slug pellet application can be made.
“If slug pressure is high and rain is also forecast, you would be better placed to use a high-quality and durable ferric phosphate slug pellet to effectively control the pest.”
The app is now available to download from the Apple and Android app stores.